Feature Image Credit: @ilconfinedeilibri
When it comes to dipping your toe in different genres, picking up an anthology is an easy way to experiment and discover new favorite authors and styles. Urban fantasies often cross genres, lending an exciting mix of mystery, action, steamy romance, paranormal characters, and fantasy worlds. Here are 11 must-read urban fantasy anthologies—ranging from powerful witches, magical tattoos, werewolves, feys, shifters and more—that will appease a range all your literary cravings!
Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane
The first anthology on our list is filled with all kinds of paranormal creatures, ranging from shifters to leprechaun princes. The four authors tell stories about a shifter who is willing to do anything to keep his newly found mate, a shapeshifting tigress and jaguar duo on the hunt to solve a mysterious case, a warrior princess who must tame the Beast of Blackmoor, and a bodyguard protecting the leprechaun prince she is tasked with to protect. Fans of books filled with mystery, action, and steamy romance will want to get their hands on this book!
Here are the shifter romances to read if you’re new to the genre >>
Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter
Our next anthology contains three steamy stories that feature classic paranormal creatures. The first story features a vampire warlord on the hunt for his Bride, but will the woman he chooses to accept her greatest enemy in marriage? It is then followed up by the story of a skinwalker who risks his life to save Tehya when she gets gravely injured. The last steamy addition tells the story about Lilica Swan who will do anything to save her sister from Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even if it means marrying him and avoiding her growing attraction to him.
On the Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, Sunny
Binge read these next four short stories if you are wanting romantic stories about fey lords and empaths. In the first story, werewolf Anna finds herself inspired and more powerful after the son of a werewolf comes to visit her pack after he hears about unrest. Next, Kai is an empath who senses her neighbor’s dangerous thoughts and powers that have yet to be unleashed. Then, the Lord of the Fey and a mage cross paths at an auction where the rarity for sale is actually Claire. Finally, follow Mona Lisa who is part Monere and part human and has decided that she must live her life alone until she meets a man who might change everything.
Edge of Darkness by Christine Feehan,MaggieShayne, Lori Herter
If you are looking for your next steamy vampire fix, then this anthology is for you! Containing three new stories set in the world of the Carpathians, Edge of Darkness features beautiful but deadly vampires. The stories feature a deadly duo as they seek revenge for Blaze’s father, a vampire teaming up with a mortal detective in order to stop a murderous vampire, and an archaeologist that discovers the resting place of a vampire who views her as the mate he has been longing for.
Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor
Set in the world of Laurell K. Hamilton’s beloved vampire hunter, Anita Blake, our next anthology features five new steamy vampire stories you’ll be dying to read! The stories follow other favorites such as waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who has a taste for vampire men, and Vampire Queen Betsy as she helps Dr. Sophie Trudeau and her secret admirer, Liam, track down a killer. The next story follows a witch as she asks a vampire to help her prevent her doomsday vision from coming true. Finally, the last story follows a man who becomes a vampire in order to enact revenge on a man who stole his partner.
Howl for It by Shelly Laurenston, Cynthia Eden
Prefer werewolves over vampires? Then be sure to check out Howl for It, an anthology containing two different stories involving the hottest werewolves that you will soon be falling for. The first story follows Darla, a werewolf who gets kidnapped by her family’s rival pack. Her kidnapping threatens a pack war, and she becomes attracted to her captor, both of which make Darla’s life seem more exciting to her. The last story follows Gage Ryder and his human bride on their honeymoon as he and his pack get tracked by hunters threatening to end them. Gage must find out his wife’s secret as well as revealing his own to her.
Bump in the Night by J. D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas
Our next collection features stories of magical romance, terrifying suspense, and visits from the paranormal. Follow Eve as she tries to solve a murder while getting the terrifying suspicion that a ghost is following her every move. Next, Poppy discovers that her coin can grant wishes and encounters multiple magical events. Then, in “The Passenger,” two people are stranded in a haunted cabin but slowly find that they are attracted to each other. Finally, Charlotte’s imaginary friend comes to visit her after her father dies and she slowly starts to fall in love with him.
Dead After Dark by Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Susan Squires, Dianna Love
Dive into these next four short stories for stories about dangerous romance and the most powerful paranormal creatures. In “Shadow of the Moon,” Angelia must team up with the werewolf she is sworn to kill and hate in order to survive. Next, “The Story of Son,” follows lawyer Claire after a routine client meeting quickly becomes dangerous yet extremely sensual. Then, in “Beyond the Night,” follow Drew Carlowe has a passionate encounter with the young ghost haunting his home. Finally, Trey McCree and Sasha Armand must team up to stop an evil warlord while they try to fight their feelings for each other.
Strange Brew by P.N. Elrod, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Karen Chance, Charlaine Harris, Faith Hunter, Caitlin Kittredge
Looking for a collection of steamy short stories about the world’s most powerful witches? Strange Brew provides readers with three stories about attractive wizards, werewolves, vampires, and the strange magic that they encounter. First, follow a vampire and a witch from ancient times as they hunt down a murderer. Then, werewolf Tom Franklin calls upon the help of a blind witch to help him find his missing brother. Finally, Jim Butcher delivers an entertaining story about a wizard as he fights off the magical powers who mess with his favorite beer. These are the first few of multiple captivating and romantic stories!
Here are 10 must-read urban fantasy series >>
Dark and Stormy Knights by P.N. Elrod, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Shannon K. Butcher, Rachel Caine, Deidre Knight, Vicki Pettersson, Lilith Saintcrow
From dragonslayers to ghosts, our next anthology on the list is sure to amaze readers with all different kinds of paranormal creatures and romantic encounters. These nine stories revolve around the theme of a dark and stormy protector and contain dashing bodyguards, fights for revenge, enemies to lovers romance, conflicting romance, and so much more!
Hexed by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James
Our next collection contains four short stories that all have one thing in common: hexes. These stories feature four strong women who encounter different curses and are determined to break them for the men and the friends that they love. Follow these powerful women as they encounter secret love, fighting for past love, freeing their friends, intense journeys, and righting the wrongs of those from the past.
Inked by Karen Chance, Eileen Wilks, Marjoire M. Liu, Yasmine Galenorn
These four authors bring their popular characters and worlds back in our next anthology by connecting them with the common theme of tattoos that are more than they seem. Follow war mage Lia de Croissets as she travels to underground Las Vegas to look into the disappearances of werewolves, including her boyfriend. Next, demon-hunter Maxine Kiss travels back in time and encounters a dying man who reveals shocking details about her grandmother. Then, dive into the intricate workings of the Otherworld Intelligence Agency as operative Camille D’Artigo fights evil fey with an attractive stranger. Finally, follow Lily and Rule as they look into the murders of werewolves.